“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Last Saturday, November 19th, was the funeral for my friend’s seventeen-year-old son. It was heart breaking and I had not been looking forward to it all week. You see, my friend had ask me to pray the final prayer of the service and for all my wit and humor … I had nothing. How do you give words after the loss of a child?!?

On top of that, I have a friend, a mentor, who has been in “my corner” for years and last week, he had a pretty massive heart attack and the prognosis is not good. In fact, it is as bad as it can get. So, here I sit trying to pull something positive from this week while I am barely holding it together.

Then, something hit me; put my feelings down on paper. Write everything down. The good, the bad, the pain, the feelings of loneliness and the feelings of desperation. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, all week. Cut off in traffic? Write it down. Feeling down because you haven’t seen any sun for five days? Write it down. Pray for my best friend and his family after a loss of their youngest child? Write it down! Listen to one of the best men I have ever known tell me while I am holding his hand, that “this hospice ‘thing’ is a one way door, but I am ready and I am not afraid.” WRITE IT DOWN!!!

I wrote down pages of things! Things I saw, things I experienced and things that I thought about after. At the end of the week, I went back through my notes and saw a pattern. After going through them again, I pulled out the pattern and spoke about it, at this young man’s funeral.

Loss is painful.

Loss is a thief in the night that gives no care for age or reason. It is a self-serving entity that gives no care of emotion, status or age. It is a monster that can enter on a whisper and leave with world shattering guilt and heartbreak.

But we can hold fast to the fact that we can pull a couple very important truths from this “whisperer.”

Loss is a thief and a liar. Something  precious has been stolen here … from all of us. But what we have to remember here is that we don’t “feel” the loss, we feel the REMORSE of the loss, the emotional disconnect from it, the absence, the emptiness. Luckily there is a plan for coping with it and that is the Gathering, such as the gathering in this room, the connection to each other and the celebration of a life that we all got to touch and that touched us in return. If we join together and stand as group, as a family, with one common goal, that thief has no hold because the flock is always stronger than the individual.

Secondly, loss can be considered a final step; so final that it is hard to think of what to do next, but we must focus on the fact that it is not the last step in the process. The last step … is redemption. The clearing away of sickness, fear and confusion. Voices are calmed and situations finished and burdens are lifted and addictions are relieved. In the race of life this is the finishing of the race but not everyone finishes the full race, some stumble, struggle and for whatever reason can’t go on and they fall into their trainer’s arms and as he catches them he faintly whispers in their ear, “well done good and faithful servant, your race is over but I have got you from here.”

How we deal with loss is just as important as how we deal with life and how we CONDUCT ourselves in the face of it is just as important as it is in the wake of it.

I know it’s a Holiday week, I know we are all looking forward to some “family time.” This Thanksgiving, remember what family really means, hug them a little bit longer and stand behind them and support them because it will Turn It Around … for everyone.

2 thoughts on ““I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

  1. Big hug for you, my friend! Emotions are tuff to wrestle with and your words bring a big a tenderness and give their own hug for those who are suffering. Your training coach is very proud of you, and gives you that strength for others. Well done, well done…….

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